PawSox Edge Bats in Louisville Behind Montz and Shaw

PawSox news release…
(Louisville, KY) – Keith Couch gave the Pawtucket Red Sox seven strong innings and led the PawSox to a 6-5 win over the Louisville Bats on Friday night at Slugger Field. Luke Montz drove in three and Travis Shaw had three hits and scored two runs to back Couch in the series-leveling win.

The PawSox (24-19) faced Major-League rehabber Manny Parra for the first inning and two thirds; he reached his pitch limit with two outs in the second after walking two and allowing a hit to Garin Cecchini. 

Donovan Hand – the originally scheduled Louisville starter – got the final out of the second.  The PawSox broke through against Hand (0-2) in the fourth.  Bryce Brentz began the frame with a base hit and was followed by Shaw’s first single, a line-drive off the wall in right field, which moved Brentz to third.  Luke Montz’s sacrifice fly to the wall in left-center put Pawtucket ahead 1-0.  With two outs, Humberto Quintero singled to score Shaw and push the PawSox ahead by a pair. 

The Bats tied the game in the bottom of the fourth.  A leadoff walk of Hernan Iribarren opened the inning before a Yorman Rodriguez single.  With one out, Steve Selsky singled to center and plated Iribarren.  Ramon Cabrera then knotted the game with a single to left.   Couch ended the inning inducing the third of four PawSox double plays turned on the evening.

From that point forward, Couch (2-5) was outstanding.  The righthander allowed just one more hit and finished seven innings having allowed five hits, two runs with just one walk and three strikeouts. 

By the time he departed, the PawSox led 3-2 thanks to more from Shaw and Montz.  Shaw ripped a two-out double in the top of the sixth and scored on Montz’s single to left.

Pawtucket, which had played extra-inning games the previous two nights, added what proved to be three critical insurance runs in the ninth on Friday night.  In the top of the ninth, the PawSox ripped four hits, including a bunt single from Shaw and doubles from Montz, Quintin Berry and Jeff Bianchi.

Zeke Spruill pitched a perfect eighth but ran into trouble in the ninth.  With one out, an error at first sparked a three-run rally.  Steve Selsky walked before Ramon Cabrera ripped a base-hit to left.  The ball was bobbled, which allowed Ivan De Jesus to score and make it 6-3.  Eugenio Suarez then singled home a pair to pull Louisville within a run.

Newcomer John Cornely made his Pawtucket debut a dramatic one.  He induced a groundout on a comebacker that knocked his glove off for the second out, then struck out Chris Dominguez to end the game and earn the save. 

The PawSox will play the third of a four-game series in Louisville on Saturday night at 6:05.  Left-hander Eddie Rodriguez (4-2, 3.05) is expected to start for the PawSox while the Bats counter with righty Josh Smith (0-1, 5.87).  Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 5:50. 

Pawtucket will return home on Memorial Day Monday, May 25th to begin a six-game homestand against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Louisville.